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Letters to the Editor

Time to give thanks to the DRB team

After 3 years on the Design Review Board, I want to thank the Laguna Beach community, city staff and our city councilmembers for appointing me and trusting in my abilities to serve on the Board. I believe that teamwork and collaboration are at the heart of our achievements.

Being on the DRB is no easy task and making balanced decisions is challenging. At its core, the Board’s responsibility is to assess what changes are reasonable for our community’s most personally valued resources – our homes, our views, our neighborhoods.

This is a responsibility I have not taken lightly. For years, the DRB process has been feared amongst property owners and neighbors alike. During my service, the last two years as chairperson, I am proud to say we have taken actions to make this a better process for all.

These actions include:

–two rounds of streamlining processes

–rewriting the bylaws to make the process and responsibilities more consistent 

–adding a term limit clause

–encouraging more transparency, with documents available online

–successfully adapting and conducting public hearings through the pandemic 

–continuing support for ongoing online/Zoom participation for applicants and neighbors

–hosting 10+ workshops and community discussions on related topics and education

–reducing the project appeal rate 

As I conclude my service as chairperson of the Board, I wholeheartedly thank the community and those who have served alongside me. Through this process, I have personally grown, learned and valued your perspectives from project to project. 

We do not always agree on the details, but you have shared in my vision to make this a more consistent and healthier conversation for our community, showing respect for each other, listening to all the issues, being civil, and finding balance within the guidelines to meet concerns. I thank you all for your time and dedication.

Going forward, I will continue with my appointed DRB term and I look forward to continuing to serve my Laguna Beach community!

Louis Weil 

Laguna Beach


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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